Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Getting Serious About Finances After College

Daniel and I sat down and had a long talk about our financial situation this weekend. By no means are we in a bad position. We are both working, and we have plenty of savings. In many ways from the outside it looks as though we have everything together. But both of us are so guilty. We indulge in things that we don't really need and sometimes it comes out of laziness. Both of us have noticed, particularly in the past month, that we've been using every excuse to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In all fairness, both of us go from school to work and we're lucky to be home by 8 at night which isn't exactly an ideal time to cook a full meal and plan for breakfasts and lunch for the next day. 

But it's gotten to a point where its out of control, I'm talking 985.00 out of control. Before you go back and check, yes, you did read that right. In the past month alone Daniel and I have spent almost 1000 dollars on eating out for almost all of our meals. And that kills me. 

That number is more than half of our rent each month. That number is big, and dramatic and a huge problem. Honestly, it's embarrassing to even share here. But we have to start somewhere if we're going to start holding ourselves accountable for lowering this number. 

With graduation around the corner, and no official full-time job lined up after college, numbers like this are so scary. Not to mention that I'll be leaving school with student loans up to my ears, we have to start being more careful when it comes to money spending. 

After being slapped by financial reality, Daniel and I took a few steps towards figuring out how we were going to handle this. First, we agreed that we would start small and for the next week we won't be eating out. We made a list of groceries to buy for the week which included things like eggs that we could hard boil and make egg salad with, packs of chicken that we can use for so many different things, and fruits and veggies that would make easy snacks. 

We planned out every day for the next week for breakfasts, lunch and dinner and we wrote that terrible number on a notecard and put it on the fridge as a reminder. And after going to three different groceries stores I think we spent maybe $110 dollars on food for the next week, plus some. If we spent that much every week we still wouldn't even reach half of what we spent on eating out in the past month. 

I have a few other bad spending habits as well, but I think if you want to see any kind of serious impact on your finances it's important to start at one place and work your way through without overwhelming yourself. 

If you want to start getting serious about your finances, as you're on your way to becoming independently financially stable, I think you should start by adding up what you've spent recently on non-essential things. It's amazing how much so many little purchases add up to something so big. And it's a way for you to hold yourself accountable. 

Everything will play out the way it's supposed to, but if you want to be in a good position I think you can help it along. It's so important to be aware of your financial situation if you want to make any changes. 

1 comment:

  1. I 100% agree with this, it's so important to start small and not overwhelm yourself. I think you guys are going in the right direction.

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